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CRM data integration: What to do and what not to do

4 Min read

Digital transformation offers many benefits, and that is the reason it is so vital today. We want to point out that if businesses want to drive innovation and stand out from the competitive crowd, they should never opt for stand-alone systems.

  • Do you want to offer a unique experience to your customers?
  • Is boosting system efficiency part of your business growth plan?

If your answer is yes, then, you must opt for data sharing between CRM, ERP and E-Commerce systems. However, very few businesses engage in system integration; mainly because the process is complicated and risky.

  • Bringing data together from various sources and systems leads to chaos.
  • This causes extensive delays and frequent budget overruns.
  • Moreover, sometimes the most dreaded possibility, loss of data and system disruption also takes place.

Keeping all the possibilities of the things that may go south for you, you cannot avoid the fact that system integration runs today’s competitive landscape.

Now, there’s no reason to be dismayed! You can follow some tips, ensuring that your system integration efforts do not go off the deep end.

What to Do

We will be elaborating the steps which will help you in successful system integration. Here are a few suggestions!

Start mapping your data

  • Gain a clear picture of all the data you have in each system before you start bringing them together.
  • Even after a thorough check, be prepared for a few shortcomings.
  • Make sure you have scheduled some project time to deal with data mapping.

There is a perfect chance that your initial list will end up being incomplete and critical data may not be identified in the first couple of rounds.

Flush out incompatible data formats

Your system uses certain characters while the one you are integrating with does not. Such incompatibilities lead to severe issues.

  • Each system follows its programmed parameters.
  • The data you stored in your system may not get saved in the same
  • Incorporate error handling and validation to minimize such problems.

Only use the data you need

Data that ’’might be helpful’’ is not to be included.

Focus only on what ’’is helpful.’’

Data that ’’is helpful’’ may need a change in scope whereas data that ’’might be helpful’’ may consist of enhancements that could probably come in handy as the project progresses.

  • Do not fail while differentiating between these two as doing so will lead to an increased expenditure of time and money; even failure.
  • Mapping only the relevant and most valuable data is cost-effective and efficient.
  • Individual departments do not need to see data that isn’t relative.

For example, will export QuickBooks to google sheets for easy storage of important data. You can export your data at ease and do the trickiest manipulations with data in spreadsheets.

Simplify your processes.

Build a streamlined business process before you implement the system data integration program.

  • The flow of the data is essential, but so is the understandability of the business process as it helps the automation sync with the process.
  • You must go through each process with the respective users; you will know where the issues exist and how to tackle them.

What Not to Do

Haven’t you heard? Caution is better than cure.

Do not manage the project through email

  • Look for specific tools that can meet the project’s exact requirements. Also, get everybody involved to use these tools.
  • Emails are too risky.
  • Switch to collaborative tools and centralize the project information.

Combat miscommunication

Integration projects are complex by nature because they involve the management of applications and processes tied to multiple systems.

Establish a glossary of sorts to minimize errors in communication. Avoid using technical-jargon when it is not entirely necessary. Keep things simple.

In conclusion, it is quite apparent that data integration is a very complicated task. However, by carefully applying what we just discussed, you can overcome most of the issues and deliver a successful project.

Udit Handa is a CRM Consultant at Cynoteck Technology. He is an expert in CRM software with prosperous 15+ years of work experience in software project management, CRM consulting and development.

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